Elizabeth Power – The Burning of the Women of Cong

T’were well we met and wet the times
Before the pogrom started
T’were circle light that eased our plight
And made our futures certain.
Twere often got at moon’s bite
The well was filled with water
When heaven gained our noonday plight
They sent a boat from the ‘Cove of Light’
Too late –there was no escape for any

At High Cross Cong
When they weren’t burning witches
The priests prayed aloft their voices
Sweet and polished, they pledged allegiance
To the great protector of men
The God who hated women
They held us in chains in dank churches
Underground, I was cold – freezing
Outlight, the bells proclaimed
Their hideous peals of power

They took away a world I loved,
The gentle worship of the divine
Her trees, her bird song,
The Green, richer and more powerful
Than they knew what to do with –
They made god human
So we would worship man.
I had one day left to thank her
Before my world was buried
Under a mound of stone
Made sacred by Priests
Who hadn’t the slightest vestige of holiness

I watched women turn and run,
Give in, give up, accede to supremacy.
It pained my head to hear their lies
It pains me now to think of it
Picture this – the best, the ripest of knoweldge
Gone underground
At the courts, none were willing
To speak to us or for us
Our words meant nothing
They rankled our vision
In the last days a mist lay over the valley
Sometimes we had hope

The night had a star cast and cold glitter
The crowned usurper gave us the finger
While magpies fat with sorrow
Rattled death
Rat a tat tat

It rained hail the day they came to kill.
Holocaust, the cost of holy too high to pay
Flames crept about my head
Tar charred my lungs
I saw my legs disolve
I had a thirst and the horror of my final moment –
They stood and blessed me with their water
Even as I burnt

Up the road
There is a graveyard where women fell
And ruined in a riot of madness, badness
They crashed in the darkness
Stones replaced them
Marked they once stood guard
And guarding fire
They took the heat and flame
And unprotected, they melted

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Elizabeth Power
Elizabeth Power has a BA (hons) in Women’s Studies from National University of Galway, Ireland (1996) and an (hons) MA in Writing (2007) She has won or been placed in several international or national short story competitions including “Swift Satire International Writing Competition”, “Domineer International Literary Festival”, and “Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival”, “John Arden Spoken Word”, “June Fest Short Story story”. Her poetry and fiction have been published widely in literary journals, including Crannog, The Moth, Skylight 47 and Noir By Noir West (Arlen House) The Holly Bough, Three Drops From a Cauldron (UK) and Sheela Na Gig (US). Further details please see elizabethpowerwriter.com